While the Kansas City Chiefs were securing their franchise-record 14th regular season win in Week 16 over the Atlanta Falcons, tight end Travis Kelce was busy breaking NFL and personal records of his own.
With his seven reception, 98-yard performance on Sunday, the league’s leading receiver set a new single-season high in receiving yards (1,416) at the tight end position, breaking the previous mark (1,377) set by San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle in 2018.
Upon Kelce’s ascent into the record books, the Niners star, who posted 92 yards of his own on Saturday night after a nearly two-month absence, took to Twitter to offer congratulations to his counterpart.
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Travis Kelce Not Concerned With Personal Accolades
While the 31-year-old continues to state his case for the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year award and claim as the best tight end in the league (if not franchise history), Kelce appears far more concerned with his team’s accomplishments to date.
“You know it’s cool to be a part of and the real record I’m proud of right now is that it’s the first time the Chiefs have ever been 14-1, and we’re going to try and make it 15-1 next week,” Kelce told reporters on Sunday.
“I really don’t get caught up in the personal accolades. I worked my tail off to just try to be the best teammate and the best player I can be for this organization on and off the field. And you know, getting recognized like that is awesome because my teammates, my coaches, the people in this building are proud of me in that regard and heck, it can make my family extremely happy, give them something they can talk smack to the person next to them. But at the end of the day, there’s always more to accomplish in a team game.”
Kelce also addressed the record-setting performance and more in another postgame interview with the Chiefs broadcast crew.
After securing the AFC’s No. 1 seed and a first-round playoff bye week, it now remains to be seen whether the Chiefs starters will get a chance to suit up against the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers in Week 17.
Even if head coach Andy Reid elects to sit Kelce and company, the eighth-year tight end has already set new career-highs across the board in catches (105), yards (1,416), yards per game (94.4) and touchdowns (11). His 145 targets this season also rank second to the 150 he saw from then-rookie QB Patrick Mahomes back in 2018.
Andy Reid: Kelce ‘Growing up Right Before Us’
Reid was also among the first to express his feelings on Kelce’s impressive on-field accomplishments on Sunday. However, the 22-year veteran made a special point to compliment his tight end’s growth off the field as well.
“Listen, I’m so proud of him in so many ways, on and off the field,” Reid said during his postgame press conference. “He’s just a heck of a football player and a great person too, and he keeps it alive. For the young guys to see this guy that he’s getting up there in age but gets excited for every opportunity he has I think is a special deal. He’s done a nice job and made a nice career of this thing, like I said, on and off the field, and kind of growing up right before us.”
Reid makes a great point indeed.
Kelce’s maturation over the last decade has seen him rise from a 21-year-old kid getting kicked off his college football team to most recently being named to his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl and Kansas City’s 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!